(If you have now been earwormed by a song of similar title, I'm sorry. Sort of. Okay, not really.)
I like to think I'm pretty brave in general. I usually speak my mind. I try new things. I am willing to admit when I make a mistake. I'm not brave enough to strap on a parachute and fling myself out of a perfectly good plane and I have very little desire to go deep-sea diving, but in my everyday, ordinary life, I think I handle fear reasonably.
But I have this pesky fear of success.
Many writers in particular acknowledge that it exists, but we don't talk about it much. We may claim, outwardly, that we're afraid of being rejected or getting bad reviews, but some of us also live in fear of the what-if. Not what-if I fail, but what-if I succeed?
What if the agent/editor really like this book and I get a contract?
What if my new release makes a best-seller list?
What if this is my breakout book?
It seems a little odd to be afraid of getting it right, and yet I know for a fact that I've been held back from this particular fear. And at the same time I'm feeling fear, I also feel embarrassment, because it seems somehow arrogant to assume that I might be right and I really might be that good. But if I am, will I live up to my own hype? Will I fulfill my own promises? Can I do it again and again?
Immortal Lies has been out for almost two months now, and I'm pretty pleased with how it's been received. The next book in that series in progress now.
I just finished the edits on Of Shadow Born. They took me ... far longer than they should have, due to this fear of mine. The edits weren't extensive. They were painless, really. And yet it's another first-book-in-the-series. It's a slightly different type of book (more romance, less snark) than Immortal Lies. If people like this book, I have to keep two series afloat and keep readers both happy and coming back and that, well. Scares me.
But I will send that book out into the world at the end of this month. If I can talk about the fear, I can beat it, and I can move on.